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What's New on the RDDS Roadmap?

10 September 2020
By Isabelle ColasIsabelle Colas

As part of an effort to keep the community informed about the evolution of policy and management of registration data, new information about the ICANN org's ongoing projects related to Registration Data Directory Services (RDDS) has been published. This roadmap, which is updated bi-annually, shows RDDS activities in advance of ICANN Board consideration, implementation following Board action, and implementation by contracted parties.

Some of these RDDS activities in the roadmap include:

The Expedited Policy Development Process (EPDP) on the Temporary Specification for generic top-level domain (gTLD) Registration Data

The EPDP Phase 2 team submitted its Final Report to the Generic Names Supporting Organization (GNSO) Council on 31 July 2020 for its consideration. If approved, the GNSO Council will forward it to the ICANN Board for consideration as an ICANN consensus policy.

The EPDP Phase 2 team worked on:

  • The development of System for Standardized Access/Disclosure to non-public gTLD registration data (SSAD).
  • Issues noted in the Annex to the Temporary Specification for gTLD Registration Data.
  • Outstanding issues deferred from Phase 1.

The EPDP Team considered various models based on several high-level principles and concepts where ICANN would act as or oversee a central gateway for receiving and routing requests for non-public gTLD registration data. As part of this model, disclosure decisions would be made by registrars and registries. The EPDP team also contemplated the structure and architectural components of SSAD to reach an agreement on how the SSAD should function.

To organize its work, the EPDP Phase 2 team divided its work into priority 1 and priority 2 topics. Priority 1 consists of the SSAD, which was addressed in the EPDP team's Phase 2 Final Report published on 31 July 2020. Priority 2 includes a number of topics that were deferred from phase 1 to phase 2. The majority of the priority 2 topics were addressed together with the priority 1 topics in the SSAD Final Report. A small team of council members are currently reviewing and considering possible next steps to address the remaining EPDP priority 2 issues, specifically:

  • Differentiation between legal and natural persons
  • Feasibility of unique contacts to have a uniform anonymized email address
  • Accuracy and the WHOIS Accuracy Reporting System

ICANN org and community volunteers began working collaboratively to implement the EPDP Phase 1 Recommendations on 29 May 2019. A group of community volunteers assists ICANN org by providing subject matter expertise and ensuring that the policy's implementation is consistent with the Board-approved recommendations. 

Effective on 20 May 2019, ICANN org implemented the Interim Registration Data Policy for gTLDs (Interim Policy) pursuant to the Board's 15 May 2019 adoption of recommendations contained in the EPDP Team's Final Report developed in the GNSO Council. The Interim Policy maintains requirements from the Temporary Specification for gTLD Registration Data, which detailed how gTLD registry operators and ICANN-accredited registrars must handle gTLD registration data as a result of privacy legislation.

The EPDP Phase 1 Implementation Team continues to draft the registration data policy language and design an implementation plan that will be published for public comment.

The Registration Directory Service (RDS-WHOIS2) Review Team

The RDS-WHOIS2 Review Team delivered its Final Report on 3 September 2019. The report assessed the extent to which prior Registration Directory Service Review recommendations were implemented, and if implementation resulted in the intended effects. The review team also evaluated the effectiveness of the then-current gTLD registry directory service and whether its implementation meets the legitimate needs of law enforcement, promotes consumer trust, and safeguards registrant data. On 25 February, the Board took action on each of the 22 recommendations issued within the RDS-WHOIS2-RT Final Report, as specified within the scorecard titled "Final RDS-WHOIS2 Recommendations – Board Action 25 February 2020".

The Board approved 15 of the 22 recommendations and placed four in a pending status. The Board will consider the recommendations placed in pending status in light of an impact analysis, which will be completed after the Board takes action on the EPDP Phase 2 recommendations. As per the Bylaws, the Board provided its rationale for the two rejected recommendations.

For more detail about RDDS-related actions, please check out the Knowledge Center on our dedicated portal, lookup.icann.org.

Lastly, please have a look at the roadmap. If you have any questions about it, please reach out to me at Isabelle.Colas@icann.org.


Isabelle Colas

Policy Research Specialist

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